The Top Fitness Trends of 2023

The Top Fitness Trends of 2023: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

The fitness industry has always been a dynamic and evolving space, constantly adapting to new research, technologies, and trends. The year 2023 was no exception, with influencers promoting several innovative (or fluffy) fitness trends. Here are our thoughts of some of the trendiest areas of the fitness world from the last year.  

1. Biohacking

Biohacking became a mainstream health and performance strategy in 2023. This trend involves making changes to your lifestyle in order to 'hack' your body's biology and feel your best. It ranges from simple changes like diet and exercise modifications to extreme measures like implanting medical devices, doing lots of diagnostic blood work, and analyzing data collected from various wearable devices.

While we have no problem with any of this, our opinion is that biohacking can be a distraction and lead to a lot of anxiety. Many "biohackers" tend to obsess about morning routines, capturing their activities for social media, and little tiny details that really won't move the needle. This comes at the expensive of the big items like sleep, diet, and high intensity strength training, which should be the core of any fitness routine. 

We are definitely fans of some of the more popular hacks like fasting, sauna, and cold plunging, but our opinion is that those shouldn't be added to your routine until you have the basics mastered. 

2. Virtual Reality Workouts

There is no better reality then "REALITY". Because of that we are not huge fans of the Virtual reality (VR) workouts trend. With VR technology, users can engage in an immersive workout experience from the comfort of their homes.

From simulated bike rides through scenic landscapes to virtual yoga classes, VR workouts provide an exciting twist to traditional home workouts. Anything is better than nothing, so if wearing a helmet while working out is something you want to do, then go for it. Just know running outside in the real world is better in our opinion.

3. Mobility Training

Recognizing the importance of flexibility and range of motion for overall health, mobility training continues to gain popularity across the globe. This form of exercise focuses on improving the movement of muscles and joints. It can help reduce the risk of injury, improve posture, and enhance athletic performance.

Joint mobility training is one of our favorite trends from the last year. Strength training is obviously king, but keeping your joints mobile and moving them through their full range of motion is extremely important.

Our hope is that more people will work some form of this into their routines in 2024.

4. Primal Movement

Primal movement or 'natural movement' workouts also made waves in 2023. These workouts focus on the types of movements that come naturally to humans (or so they say). Proponents of this type of activity tend to teach break dancing moves and "animal movements" to classes of people with the goal of making them better "movers". 

While this may be fun, our opinion is that this is not essential for most and again should not be a focus of any routine until the boxes of strength training, cardio, and regular joint mobility have been checked off.

One complaint we have about this trend is that the companies selling these programs often pray on young personal trainers and charge them hundreds if not thousands of dollars to be certified in their fringy practices.

There is likely some benefit to these practices, but if you want to be a better mover, don't waste time crawling like a monkey. Get to the gym and sprint, walk, and jump. In our opinion, we hope this trends dies in 2024. However, because gorilla walks look cool in social posts, we highly doubt it will. 

5. Wearable Technology

Fitness wearables continued to be a massive trend in 2023, with more people tracking their fitness progress and health metrics using Fitbits, Apple Watches, and other devices. These gadgets not only monitor heart rate and steps, but also provide detailed insights into sleep patterns, stress levels, blood sugar, heart rhythm, and more.

These devices are amazing and worth the investment if you can afford one. Many of them can help estimate how many calories you burn every day, as well as the amount of non-exercise movement you are getting. Know just these few things can help you make important adjustments in your training. 

6. Shorter, Optimized Workouts

In our fast-paced world, efficiency is key—and fitness is no exception. In 2023, shorter, optimized workouts (or, "micro-workouts") became a popular topic. These types of micro-workouts are designed to achieve maximum results in minimal time, making them perfect for busy individuals. Even Mark Sisson, founder of Primal Kitchen put out a series of how to do multiple short intense workouts throughout the day.

This type of philosophy is great if you are very short on time. However, to be effective it must be carefully planned and intense enough to stimulate change in the body. 

Any activity is better than no activity, but strive to get at least 30 minutes of intense exercise in at least 3 days a week. 

In conclusion, 2023 was an exciting year in the fitness industry, with a big focus on technology and softer forms of fitness including mobility training and various movement practices. As we continue to navigate the future of fitness, we remind you to stay focus on the big areas of health and fitness (strength training, sleep, water, and diet) and to be cautious about the distractions caused by fringy or trending practices. 

Remember...even the shake weight was cool at one point.

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